Barely weeks after opening in a flurry of media hype and expectation, Coda proved something of an instant success, quickly cementing itself as an exciting and innovative addition to the city’s crowded market of upscale eateries. Housed off Oliver Lane, the space has been given a minimalist makeover by Melbourne-based studio Projects of Imagination, and is replete with wire mesh screens, aluminium-framed windows and exposed light bulbs. The space is ingeniously split almost equally between the sit-down restaurant and the no-reservations bar area.
Chef Adam D’Sylva's (ex-Pearl and Longrain) menu serves up a diverse range of Asian-inspired share plates and French classics. Here you’ll find sugar cane prawns sitting alongside baked snails and roasted yellow duck curry offered next to steak béarnaise. While the punchy flavours of the Thai- and Vietnamese-inspired dishes are especially good, ultimately it is the bold and confident execution of every dish that manages to make such an eclectic menu work.
The kitchen is backed by an experienced and enthusiastic team of floor staff, guided by owners Kate Calder (ex-Taxi) and Mykal Bartholomew (ex-MoVida). Sommelier Travis Howe has compiled a good-value selection of mostly Old World wines, offered by the glass or half bottle to accommodate the varied flavour palate on offer.
The clever use of space and the menu of mostly small sharing dishes means that Coda has an energy to it as people pop in for a glass of wine and a couple of scallops, with the comfort of knowing that they can book a table for a Friday night should the want to. Coda is quickly becoming one of Melbourne's best.